Star Wars: Why US cinemas are refusing to show The Last Jedi

Disney's strict requirements for screening may leave some smaller establishments out in the cold

Clarisse Loughrey
Thursday 02 November 2017 12:22
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Star Wars: The Last Jedi teaser

Star Wars: The Last Jedi may be this year's biggest release, but don't expect it to show in every single cinema.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the huge success of both Disney's Star Wars and Marvel franchises has emboldened the studio to start making more aggressive demands from cinemas, specifically when it comes to their golden ticket, The Last Jedi.

Some owners are calling the terms "the most onerous they've ever seen", with Disney requiring 65 percent of ticket sales and a stipulation that the film be screened in the largest auditorium for at least five weeks.

This is in contrast to previous requirements of 64 percent of profits and four-week runs for previous Star Wars films. If a cinema fails to uphold the deal, they'll be subject to a five percent penalty - making Disney's total cut 70 percent of profits.

The demands are unlikely to have any great effect on major multi-screen chains, but smaller cinemas, particularly in rural areas, could be facing a major issue.


A location with, for example, only two or three screens won't exactly be inclined to dedicate an entire screen to The Last Jedi for five weeks, especially with several major other releases happening in December - Jumanji and The Greatest Showman, alongside Oscar contenders The Disaster Artist and Phantom Thread.

Fingers crossed, that won't mean fans are missing out on one of the cinematic events of the year, even if they have to make a bit of a journey to get to it.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits UK cinemas 15 December.

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